A cicada and a pool

A cicada - a type of a tree cricket - landed in front of a children's slide and got wet on the dew. It was an early morning after all - the gardeners at Christchurch's botanic gardens were only just starting their day.

We looked at the cicada and talked about its plight. I was semi-confident that once it had had a chance to dry out its wings, it would fly again, and so me and the kids just stood there, watching the thing, whilst it slowly crawled around the children's playground.

A botanic gardens employee walked past and I stopped him to ask if he could tell us what this insect was. He confirmed that it was a cicada, a type of a cricket, and instead of leaving us with this information alone he went on to tell us about a cicada's lifecycle.

Turns out, cicada's larvae live underground for about 5 years where they eat away tree's roots. When they are old enough and ready to come out, they dig they way up  through soil and grass and crawl up a tree where they remove their shell.

In fact, there are probably some of them up this tree here!, the gardener said to us and we followed him to about 15 metres away where an old tree stood, and wow - he was right.

Under the tree there were numerous discarded shells of cicadas...

...and on the tree there were even more.

Hundreds of them.

The Girlie kept picking up the shells and handing them to me. Look, mama, look!

The gardener made it the highlight of my day, showing me around that tree, the empty shells of cicada larvae and the holes they've dug.

I, in turn, showed the tree to the next family who arrived at the playground on an early Tuesday morning and wondered at the cicada buzzing on the ground.

My kids, on the other hand, probably thought that the highlight of their day was what usually is a highlight of their day - a pool, also at the same botanic gardens playground.

The playground mornings have become easier again - the school has started. It means, yes, there are more cars on the roads again, but on another hand - there's fewer people at the playgrounds.

And talking of pools: I cannot count the number of times we've been swimming with my kids this summer, and yet they look like giddy monkeys every time we arrive at a pool, loudly demanding we go to the one that has a slide, never mind that kids should actually be at least 5 years old by the time they are allowed on a slide.

But oh well :)

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